Anyone Game?

Recently I came across a really cool photo challenge hosted by Proscenium at Friday Follies. It involves submissions of any kind of sign, flyer, ad etc might or might not, be intentional or unintentionally, a mistake or could be interpreted the wrong way, misspelled, be a double entendre or just outright hilarious.

I have been sitting on just the one for such a challenge and here it is!

20181202_2157181Sometimes it pays to be stuck in a traffic jam!

Umm but technically wouldn’t ‘make up’ be considered adding….?

Oh well. Just in case anyone is interested details are right up there 😀

CFFC: Fun Fotos

Hello people! Cee’s put up a wonderful funny foto challenge this week, one that has dragged me out of my boring uninspiring world. Besides who can resist an opportunity to laugh or smile – well how about baring the teeth then?

At an outdoor event while the participants were readying, thise mom and child duo had a blast. It brought a huge smile to my face as they dashed about frolicking, jumping and generally freaking out without a care in the world. The little one was so quick on its feet that I could only manage a blur. The next one is a bit better.

20181005_175910Cute huh? That reminds me…

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That’s a Minion! No it’s Superman err Superdog Scoobie Dooby Doo 😀 Dont miss the Royal Ignore pose.

20171128_173848What’s so funny you ask? Well how about you tell me the time?

20181031_085037A scarecrow in the garden but the gophers aren’t impressed. After all they aren’t crows 😉

20181118_144240As usual I left my favorite for the last. Take your time and read it carefully. Or at least until you find tomato sauce. And then turn the page

20181118_144301And marvel at the meal that echoes but most of all salute the spirit and the determination to survive despite all odds.

Have a wonderful weekend and do share your favorite foto or menu 😀

A Roast

PHOTO PROMPT © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

 

A Roast

Words 100

 

Drip drip drip 

He couldn’t breathe because of the all-pervading stench that seeped into his bones.

To make it worse, it was cold and dark.

He squirmed and shuddered as something brushed his leg.

He wouldn’t scream.

He just wouldn’t.

That would spoil his chances.

A crackle and grunt

He held his breath. Was that…?

The darkness vanished.

“What are you doing here?”

“Mom!” He protested, “I was about the catch the alien.”

“Don’t worry darling, they are waiting for you at the dining table.”

“Yay!” He jumped up. “What did you make? Baked or stew…?”

“Earthlings are best roasted.”

***

A/N Yahoo! Finally managed to contribute to FF after a long time 🙂

Written for the Friday Fictioneers – a story in 100 words or less. Thanks to Rochelle for hosting the challenge and for the photo prompt. To read the other stories inspired by the photo prompt or join in click here.

 

SPF: Reality Bites

SPF 08-19-18 Anurag 2
Photo (c) Anurag Bakshi

SPF: Reality Bites

Words 101

Amidst thunderous applause Kali walked up to the dais to receive her award from the President of India. Not just a wife and mother, she was a woman of substance – of the likes of Madame Curie. Pride and exultation filled her as she surveyed her family cheering and clapping until their throats and hands were sore.

“Wonderful groundbreaking work Madam,” the interviewer gushed. “You are truly an inspiration for all women and we are extremely proud of you.”

“Thank you.” Kali said modestly.

“Tell us Madam who was your inspiration on this long and difficult journey in a male dominated field?”

“My inspiration?” Kali laughed. “Everyone!”

“That’s interesting. Could you elaborate please?”

“I was named Kali because I was dark. I was also given other names because I was fat and short.” Kali shrugged. “Rejected by suitors and reviled by society I turned to my first love, academics.” Kali smiled. “So here I am.”

“What about your husband?”

“He’s been a pillar of strength all throughout. He took care of home and children while I slaved away in the laboratory…”

 

“How long does it take to make a cup of tea?” A querulous voice demanded.

“Coming.” Kali switched off the gas.

***

Written (after a long time!) for the Sunday Photo Fiction – a story in 200 words or less. Thanks to Susan for hosting the challenge and Anurag for the awesome photo prompt. To read the other stories inspired by this prompt click here.

 

 

FFfAW: Achilles Heels

photo-20180730154706912
Photo (c) Yinglan

Achilles Heels

“Flowers? I hate flowers.”

“But…but all girls like flowers.

“And that is your first mistake. I am not ‘all girls’. Besides I am allergic to flowers.

“I am sorry. Next time I will get chocolates.”

“Chocolates are very fattening. They give me a migraine too.

“Umm so what should I get?”

“Why should you get something for me? What do you want in return?

“Me? Nothing. I was just…”

“Just what?”

“Why are you so suspicious?”

“Because no one ever does anything just like that?”

“You are such a cynic.”

“Yeah so? Got a problem with that? I didn’t ask you to stay.”

“Fine I am leaving.”

“Good riddance…”

“I heard that. And just for that I am not leaving.”

“You were looking for an excuse weren’t you? Why do you put up with me?”

“I also wonder. You are one the most annoying persons I have met.”

“I did warn you that I am a very difficult person.”

“One whom I cannot live without.”

“What do you know?”

“Let’s go shopping.”

“Shopping? I don’t much care…”

“Shoe shopping.”

“Shoes?”

“Yes.”

“I don’t need shoes.”

“Okay.”

“Well maybe I could just look at them.”

***

Written for FFfAW challenge – a story in 175 words or less (I confess to overshooting the mark this week to 194 words 😦 ). Thanks to Priceless Joy for hosting this challenge and Yinglan for the beautiful photo. To read the other stories inspired by this prompt click here.

FFfAW: The Pick-me-up

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The Pick-me-up

Words 175

“Come for a walk?” Reema was at the door. “Please! I need to vent.”

“Sure.” Dia shut the door behind her. “Yikes it is hot!” she gasped.

“I know,” Reema agreed, “But I simply had to get out.”

“What happened?”

“It’s every damn thing,” Reema groaned, “and the weather isn’t helping. I have an office deadline, college cut offs and admissions are giving us sleepless nights and on top of it, my father-in-law.”

“What’s he done?”

“He has begun to invite random people home.” Reema groaned. “We’ve guests for dinner and lunch.”

“Just make twice the amount.”

“One batch is pure vegetarian.”

“Oops!”

“Exactly.” Reema sighed. “But there’s one good thing.”

“What?” Dia wiped her brow.

“I don’t dread Hell anymore.”

“Right. It couldn’t be hotter than the kitchen.”

They laughed.

“I guess I better get back.” They traced their steps back. “I can see another crisis looming.”

“What?”

“The husband has a cold.”

“Oh no!” Dia commiserated. “Poor you.”

“Thanks for the shoulder.” Reema grinned.

“Anytime.” Dia winked. “But remember, it’s my turn tomorrow.”

***

Written for the FFfAW challenge – a story in 175 words or less. Thanks to Priceless Joy for hosting the challenge and I am happy to have managed to rise to the challenge this week. Successfully or not, is up to you to decide! To read the other stories inspired by this prompt click here.

Sonu aur Titu ki Lovely – IV

Links to the previous parts are here:

Chapter 1: A Lovely Noose

Chapter 2: A Lovely Surprise

Chapter 3: A Lovely Story

Chapter 4 The Unfinished Story

Sonu stood outside the nondescript door in a modest locality and hesitated. What was he doing here? You are here to maintain facades, he told himself sternly. But why you? Titu should be here, he’s the one who is ‘supposed’ to marry her?

But Titu had refused outright. “Let’s not get carried away with this charade okay? She wants to play pretend-to-marry-me because she wants to study undisturbed right?”

Sonu had reluctantly nodded his head.

“So how’s my landing up going to help her in her goal?”

“But her Aunt and Uncle will suspect something is amiss if you guys don’t meet up frequently.” Sonu said.

“Fine!” Titu gave in, “You arrange a meeting with her. Call her up, meet her, do whatever. Just don’t ask me to meet her to arrange a ‘for-show’ meeting.”

And here he was, outside her door, wondering rather belatedly what exactly her was doing here.

Oh yeah – to fix up a meeting with Titu.

You could have called her.

I did, remember? But she wasn’t there.

Yeah right. You could have texted her.

On her Chachi’s mobile?

You could have asked her for Lovely’s number?

What if Chachi doesn’t see text messages? Anyways I have to fix this asap as Titu is free only today.

Yeah right.

I don’t like what you are insinuating. Sonu firmly squashed that pesky nitpicker in his head and rang the bell.

There was crash, a scream and a yell. Before Sonu could bang on the door, it opened and a pair of arms wrapped around his waist and clung to him, “Save me Papa, save me!”

“Suriiiiii!” Hair flying Lovely came up at a run and stopped short as she saw who it was at the door. The animation in her eyes died down and a mask slid into place.

“Suri,” she disentangled the little girl and hissed, “Go inside. I’ll deal with you later,” she promised in a dire voice.

Embarrassed, Suri slunk away.

“Namaste.” She said formally while trying to gather her flying tresses and coax them into a bun. “Please sit.” She said decorously. “Did you have some work with Chacha Chachi? I am sorry they are out and will be late. I’ll get some water.” She turned away.

“No!” Sonu stopped her. “I don’t want water or tea or coffee,” he added hastily at her expression.

“But you must have something! I’ll get an earful otherwise.” She fretted.

“You can always tell them, we don’t eat anything from the to-be-bride’s house before the wedding.” He grinned at her.

“Why?” She sat down. “So that you can eat her head for the rest of her life?” He could swear he saw a dimple peep out.

“You are so quick!” He praised. “You deserve to be in the IAS!” He looked at her. “You aren’t wearing your spectacles.”

She looked away. “I…I am wearing my contacts.”

“Yet that day you wore your thick ugly spectacles?” He said softly. “And not just that, you armed yourself with a shapeless dress with an oversized dupatta and topped it with an oily hairdo.”

“I did hate making a spectacle of myself.” This time he clearly saw the dimple. She sighed “I thought of scaring you away with all the paraphernalia but since it Dadaji had made his intentions very clear I decided to change tactics and get some protected time till my exam.” Her eyes twinkled and her dimples were in full view.

Sonu blinked to clear the daze. “Didn’t your Aunt say anything?”

“Chachi is always too caught up in her make up to worry about me. Chachaji approved of my traditional appearance as did Dadi.” She seemed to clam up. “Let me get you a cold drink.”

On the verge of protesting, Sonu subsided. It would give him a reason to prolong his stay.

Now why would you want to do that?

Distracted by muffled giggles, he looked up. Two bright pairs of eyes were inspecting him from behind the curtains. He beckoned them.

Tripping, pushing and shoving they presented themselves. “And who may you be?” He asked with a smile.

“That’s Suri or Surabhi,” Lovely re-entered carrying a tray, “and that’s Lata, my cousins. Say Namaste and go in.” She ordered, offering the Coke to Sonu.

“We want to stay and talk to Jijaji.” Suri piped up.

Sonu choked and sputtered. Lovely offered him a couple of napkins. She glared at the two girls looking on avidly. “He’s not…go inside!” She jerked her head.

They shuffled away.

“You didn’t say why you came?” Lovely asked rather abruptly.

“To hear the rest of the story.”

“What story?” She frowned. Her brow cleared. “Oh that?”

“Yes that story. I am sure it didn’t end there did it?”

“No it didn’t.” A small smile played about her mouth. “She extracted her pound of flesh.”

“How? She spoke the truth? And they believed her?”

“You think anyone would believe a woman over a man? In those days? Even today, when it is his word against hers, his voice is louder isn’t it?” she looked at him with a sneer. “Even if she shouts herself hoarse from the rooftops.”

He brushed it away. “So what happened? I am genuinely curious.”

“You could have googled it.” At his look of chagrin and irritation, she yielded. “Okay fine, I’ll tell you just for the sheer pleasure of showing you the power of silence.”

Sonu looked at her puzzled. “Power of silence?”

Lovely raised a hand. “Patience! Chandra was put in jail and then began the hearings. Chidham and his lawyer friend fed her with lots of escape routes – say that Radha used to often fight with me, say that she attacked me, say that she tripped on the sickle, say that it was in self-defense – etc etc. Chandra was silent through these exhortations and meetings. When the judge asked her of any bad blood between her and Radha or whether it was in self-defense, she calmly refuted possibilities and accepted culpability of the crime. Chidham and Dukhiram were shocked. Unable to bear the guilt Dukhiram confessed the truth – he was hungry and she refused him food so he had killed her. Determined to save his brother, Chidham too jumped into the fray and said it was he not his brother Dukhiram who had killed Radha because she had refused him food.”

Sonu looked at Lovely with a resigned expression. “Too little too late eh?”

“Yeah. Sort of.” Lovely nodded and continued, “Naturally the judge was not convinced and convicted Chandra. She was awarded the death sentence.”

“The system isn’t fair.” Admitted Sonu, “but things are different now…”

“Is it?” queried Lovely. “Anyway to end the story, despite repeated pleas, Chandra refused to meet her husband even once before her death. When she was asked why, she said only one word,” she paused. “Maron or die, possibly the Bengali equivalent of rot in hell or even the F word…”

Sonu looked bewildered. “How…what does that mean?”

“Don’t you have any sensibility or sensitivity?” Lovely sighed in frustration. “By refusing to meet Chidham, by refusing to give him the scope to confess his guilt, sorrow and shame, she ‘punished’ Chidham.” Lovely’s eyes glowed. “She sentenced Chidham to lifelong guilt and shame one from which he would probably never be able to recover.”

Dazed, Sonu shook his head. “Women are so…so devious and complicated.”

“Men are not?”

“Nope.” Sonu shook his head.

“You are right.” Lovely gave a bitter laugh. “They have only one thing on their minds.” She got up. “I am sure you must be busy. Thank you for coming.”

“That’s not fair,” Sonu protested without getting up, “We don’t just have S.E.X on our minds.”

“And you proved it.” She mocked. “I wasn’t talking of that one thing.”

“Then what were you hinting at?” Challenged Sonu.

“I meant power, control and dominance.” Lovely’s eyes flashed. “Isn’t that what sex is all about?”

“No.” Sonu shook his head.

“There’s no point in continuing this conversation.” She was back to her wooden self. “Was there anything else?” she asked politely but pointedly.

“I would love to continue that conversation,” Sonu got to his feet, “But actually I came to ask if you were free to go out this evening?”

“Go out where?” She was suspicious. “With whom? Why…?”

“Whoa!” Sonu raised his hands as a shield. “Give me a break! Let me complete will you?”

Lovely shook her head. “I’m busy. I have to study.” She looked at her watch. “In any case, I wasted a lot of time today.” She gave him a scathing look.

Sonu laughed. “I, on the other hand had a most educative day. I have suddenly developed a very healthy respect and regard for women. Who knows how they may turn against you?”

“And men are so innocent and blameless.” She sneered.

“We are like that only.” Sonu wore a pious expression. “Anyway, I wont take up more of your time now, but will be back around 8 pm with Titu and go for a party.”

“I told you! I have to study. Besides, I don’t do parties.”

“Come on! Don’t be such a stick in the mud. You and Titu can get to know each…”

“Hey! Wait.” Lovely jumped in alarm. “Did you not get what I said the other day? I am NOT going through this marriage.” She cast a worried look around and lowered her voice. “So there is no point in getting to know Titu or anyone else.”

“Okay,” Sonu eased off and continued glibly, “I framed that incorrectly. What I meant was that we need to maintain appearances, otherwise our families will become suspicious. You do want to be free of matrimonial hassles until October don’t you?”

“And what’s in it for you?” She asked skeptical. “I cannot believe you are doing this for purely altruistic reasons.”

Exactly. What’s in it for you Sonu?

He shrugged. “I told you. I am like that only. Kind, considerate and every ready to help others.”

Before Lovely could protest, or worse, walk off her uncle and aunty entered. They gushed and fawned over Sonu until Lovely was ready to throw up. And he wasn’t even the groom she thought sourly.

“But of course you must go Lovely!” Aunty said. “It’s a wonderful opportunity to get to know your future life partner. Enjoy and cherish these moments.” She patted Sonu. “Thank you beta. She will go. Would you like some tea?” She asked all solicitous concern. “Coffee? Cold drink.”

“Thank you.” He escaped victorious yet avoiding meeting Lovely’s furious eyes with a trapped expression. “Lovely was most hospitable and made me feel very welcome.” His eyes danced as he met hers.

***

Click here for Chapter 5: A Lovely Dinner